Last year, Community had it's one and only year without creator and showrunner Dan Harmon. Things...did not go well.
The already-pretty-low ratings dipped. The episodes were largely considered to be significantly worse in quality and comedic content. Chevy Chase dropped an N-bomb during shooting. It was the first season of Community to come in overbudget. All in all, not good.
But Community was sold into syndication, and is now airing reruns on Comedy Central. That means there's an additional benefit to producing more episodes. And since the execs have more or less given up on making Community a smash ratings hit, they figured they might as well try to hold on to the fans that are already here. And so they hired back Dan Harmon.
Community is on its fifth season, meaning #sixseasonsandamovie is not only a possibility - since NBC can't seem to launch any new comedies to save its life, giving Community another season after this and a TV movie is practically an inevitability (okay, maybe not the TV movie part, but NBC might just jam 3 episodes together and call it a movie JUST for the Twitter trend).
...or maybe bring in Bryan Singer. Who knows? (via Aviv Or)
The new season looks great - Jonathan Banks (also known as Mike from Breaking Bad) is joining the cast as the de facto Pierce replacement (good riddance, Pierce, by the way, since Chase was notoriously difficult to work with and, uh, ya know, the whole n-word thing), the creators of Breaking Bad and Arrested Development will be making cameos, along with a huge number of insanely exciting guest stars (including Kumail Nanjiani, Nathan Fillion, Walton Goggins, Chris Elliott, and David Cross), there will be a new Dungeons & Dragons episode, and so so much more.
That being said - there are some worrying issues. Donald Glover is leaving after only a handful of episodes to pursue other things (including his own show on FX, titled Atlanta), thus breaking up Troy & Abed. Dan Harmon's return also means Dan Harmon's return to self-sabotage and messing things up behind the scenes (things he readily admits to in interviews and his wonderful Harmontown podcast). And outside of a small handful of people, very few of the glory days writing staff remains. But at least it sounds like Harmon & Co. are extremely aware of these issues and are going to tackle them head on.
The first episode of the season, Re-Pilot, airs tonight - and the reviews are already very, VERY promising:
- "If this strong start is anything to go by, the show is going to produce an interesting, challenging, and hilarious batch of episodes for its fifth season." - The A.V. Club
- "The old Community vibe, so often lacking last year, clicks right back into place." - IGN
- "But the whys of it are much less important than the wonderful, hilarious, poignant fact itself. "Community" is back, and back to being itself." - HitFix
- "The second episode in particular has touchstones of what made the show so great under Harmon." - Variety
- "Ahhhhh. Now, that's more like it." - Vulture
So maybe it's time to move past #sixseasonsandamovie? Maybe it's time to move on to #moreseasonsthanthesimpsons.